Sunday, August 9, 2009

Quantitative and Qualitative Method

Many labels have been used to distinguish between traditional research methods and these new methods: positivistic versus post positivistic research; scientific versus artistic research; confirmatory versus discovery – oriented research; quantitative versus interpretive research; quantitative versus qualitative research. The quantitative-qualitative distinction seem most widely used. Both quantitative researchers and qualitative researchers go about inquiry in different ways (Borg and Gall, 1989).

The others name of quantitative methods are traditional, positivistic, scientific and discovery methods, and qualitative methods are new methods, post positivistic, artistic and interpretive research.

Quantitative research is the systematic scientific investigation of quantitative properties and phenomena and their relationships. The objective of quantitative research is to develop and employ mathematical models, theories and/or hypotheses pertaining to natural phenomena. The process of measurement is central to quantitative research because it provides the fundamental connection between empirical observation and mathematical expression of quantitative relationships.

Quantitative research is widely used in both the natural sciences and social sciences, from physics and biology to sociology and journalism. It is also used as a way to research different aspects of education. The term quantitative research is most often used in the social sciences in contrast to qualitative research.

A quantitative attribute is one that exists in a range of magnitudes, and can therefore be measured. Measurements of any particular quantitative property are expressed as a specific quantity, referred to as a unit, multiplied by a number. Examples of physical quantities are distance, mass, and time. Many attributes in the social sciences, including abilities and personality traits, are also studied as quantitative properties and principles.

Quantitative research is research involving the use of structured questions where the response options have been predetermined and a large number of respondents is involved.

By definition, measurement must be objective, quantitative and statistically valid. Simply put, it’s about numbers, objective hard data.

The sample size for a survey is calculated by statisticians using formulas to determine how large a sample size will be needed from a given population in order to achieve findings with an acceptable degree of accuracy. Generally, researchers seek sample sizes which yield findings with at least 95% confidence interval (which means that if you repeat the survey 100 times, 95 times out of a hundred, you would get the same response) and plus/minus 5 percentage points margin error. Many surveys are designed to produce smaller margin of error.

Quantitative methods based on positivism philosophy, used to research in population and sample, collecting data by random sampling, and data analyze for test certain hypothesis.

Positivism philosophy looking into symptom/reality/phenomenon can be classified into: constant relative, perceived, measured and relation with character of causality.

Research – quantitative method, in general, conducted at certain sample or population which is representative. Quantitative method process have the character of deductively, where to answer formula of theory or concept till can be formulated by hypothesis. Hypothesis is tested through field data collecting. Then, it has quantitative analyzed by descriptive or inference statistics, so that can be conclusion for the hypothesis formulated, proven or not. Quantitative method have done in random sample, so that this result can be generalized in population where sample taken.

Method qualitative also known as naturalistic research method because its research conducted at natural condition, also as ethnography method. Collected data and its analysis have the character of qualitative.

Qualitative research is a field of inquiry applicable to many disciplines and subject matters. Qualitative researchers aim to gather an in-depth understanding of human behavior and the reasons that govern such behavior. The qualitative method investigates the why and how of decision making, not just what, where, when. Hence, smaller but focused samples are more often needed, rather than large random samples

Qualitative Research is collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data by observing what people do and say. Whereas, quantitative research refers to counts and measures of things, qualitative research refers to the meanings, concepts, definitions, characteristics, metaphors, symbols, and descriptions of things.

Qualitative research is much more subjective than quantitative research and uses very different methods of collecting information, mainly individual, in-depth interviews and focus groups. The nature of this type of research is exploratory and open-ended. Small numbers of people are interviewed in-depth and/or a relatively small number of focus groups are conducted.

Participants are asked to respond to general questions and the interviewer or group moderator probes and explores their responses to identify and define people’s perceptions, opinions and feelings about the topic or idea being discussed and to determine the degree of agreement that exists in the group. The quality of the finding from qualitative research is directly dependent upon the skills, experience and sensitive of the interviewer or group moderator.

This type of research is often less costly than surveys and is extremely effective in acquiring information about people’s communications needs and their responses to and views about specific communications.

Qualitative research method based on post positivism philosophy, used to research into naturalistic condition (opponent with experiment)। In naturalistic condition researcher as key instrument, sample taken with purposive and snowball technics, technics of gathering with triangulation ( alliance) methods, data analysis with inductive or qualitative method, result of qualitative research more emphasize meaning than generalizing.

Post positivism philosophy also conceived of interpretive paradigm and constructive, which look into social reality as intact something that, complex, dynamic, and having the reciprocal character. Research done at natural object, that is object can not influence by researcher and attendance of researcher does not so influence dynamics at the object.

In qualitative method, its instrument is researcher itself। For that researcher have to have circumstantial and wide of knowledge to problem of accurate. Technics of its data collecting is technics of triangulation, that is joining various is technics of data collecting by simultan. Data analysis have the character of inductive pursuant to found fact then construction become theory or hypothesis. Qualitative method used to get circumstantial data, that is meaning of data. In qualitative method does not emphasize at generalizing, but at meaning.


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